American Idol Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta has come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community to reconcile his religious faith and his sexual identity.
Through a lengthy post on social media on Sunday, the singer-songwriter shared how he struggled to figure out his sexual preferences amidst his religion before realizing that religious people instead need to be kinder to those who are facing the same challenges as he is.
“I like to keep to myself but also thought this was important to share because I know so many other people from religious upbringings feel the same way,” Archuleta, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints, penned on his social media. “I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality.”
“[I don’t know] what to make of it and I don’t have all the answers. I just invite you to please consider making room to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are LGBTQIA+, and those who are a part of that community and trying to find that balance with their faith which also is a huge part of their identity like myself.”
Archuleta also urged his fellow Christians, including Mormons like himself, to be more receptive to the prejudices that members of the LGBTQIA+ community face.
“I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-Day Saints, to listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith. There are more than you may realize going through that wrestle after all the misunderstandings that come with it,” Archuleta said.
“I don’t think it should come down to feeling you have to accept one or the other. For me to find peace [with] the reality has been to accept [that] both are real things I experience and make who I am.”
He also shared how, for 20 years, he tried to “change himself” to suit his faith, until he finally grasped that who he is and what he feels are all “God’s purpose” for him.
“I’ve tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose. And instead of hating what I have considered wrong, I need to see why God loved me for who I am and that it’s not just sexuality. So many other traits of who I am come from how I’ve been created,” he said.
“Again I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but felt I needed to bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan.”
Lastly, the 30-year-old artist invited everyone outside the LGBTQIA+ community to be allies by practicing patience, empathy, and understanding.
“People who don’t experience what’s outside of the norm being just heterosexual, I just plead that you be more understanding to people who experience and struggle with things that you may not experience and understand yourself,” he said.
“If other people choose to live differently than what you’ve been raised to believe is right, please have compassion because it’s most likely been an exhausting journey for them to be okay with the feelings they have and never have been able to change. Perhaps they weren’t supposed to try and change the way they were created to be.”
Archuleta ended with a hopeful message: “Even if you’re left with so many more questions with faith and sexuality like me I believe being open to both questions and to faith is how we receive answers.”
Beneath his post, several of his fellow artists commended his openness to discuss the topic, including his final competitor and long-time friend David Cook.
Archuleta rose to fame following his podium finish during the seventh season of American Idol. He recently returned with his first romantic song in years, “Be That For You.”
Archuleta also has a strong tie with the Philippines, having released his fourth studio album and first OPM album, Forevermore, exclusively in the country. He also starred in the TV5 mini-series Nandito Ako alongside Jasmine Curtis-Smith back in 2012.